The CIES Football Observatory put out its mid-season review of all footballers from across Europe’s top 5 leagues, and Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho, and James Milner all ranked in the top 10 in Europe in their respective positions.
Although CIES often produces eyebrow-raising results, it is nice for these players to receive recognition for the strong start to the campaign, insofar as many Liverpool players have been overlooked for individual plaudits. Indeed, you would be hard-pressed to find a pundit who would include any Liverpool players in their Premier League starting XI, despite Liverpool’s lofty standing in the league so far.
Perhaps the most impressive and surprising is Milner, who was given a score of 88, good enough to be listed as the second-best fullback in Europe (behind Juventus’s Alex Sandro with a score of 89), and best in the England.
Coutinho went one better, joining Kevin de Bruyne as the best attacking midfielder in Europe, both receiving scores of 89.
Rounding out the pack was Henderson, who received a score of 87, was good enough for joint-eighth among defensive midfielders, alongside Chelsea’s N'Golo Kante and RB Leipzig’s Naby Keita.
The top-rated player in any category was Cristiano Ronaldo, who received a score of 94 because of course he did.
Nathaniel Clyne was not ranked on this list, only providing further evidence of a long-standing anti-cyborg bias. For shame.